With a career in sculpting a real possibility, Sally James Farnham began bidding against the best in the industry, sometimes vying for selection from among thirty or more competitors. In 1904, for a project near and dear to her heart, she submitted two design proposals — Defenders of the Flag, and the Spirit of Liberty — to the city of Ogdensburg for a soldiers-and-sailors monument, which were quite popular around the country. Of the 16 designs considered, Farnham’s Spirit of Liberty was selected—a combination of bronze and Barre granite, with a female figure standing atop a single column, in all reaching 37 feet high.
Present at the unveiling were an estimated 20,000 visitors, with dignitaries that included Senator George Malby of nearby Canton, and the keynote speaker, Vice-President Charles Fairbanks. As the shroud was lifted to reveal the monument, cheers erupted, a 21-gun salute began, and a band played the “Star Spangled Banner,” creating a moment hometown girl Sally James Farnham would never forget. » Continue Reading.